McGill, News, The Tribune Explains

Tribune Explains: McGill Alumni Association and Scarlet Key Society

In a season when many are searching for summer opportunities, taking advantage of the university’s alumni network can be a useful tool. The McGill Alumni Association (MAA) offers various events and opportunities to students and graduates worldwide, including networking services such as McGill Connect, the McGill News Alumni Magazine, and McGill Crowdfunding. The Scarlet Key Society is an exclusive society for both alumni and current students that provides similar networking benefits. The McGill Tribune looked into the employment, mentorship, and learning opportunities that both groups offer.

How do you start networking using the McGill Alumni Association? 

McGill graduates automatically become members of the MAA. Graduates can connect with over 300,000 McGill alumni across the globe by signing into the McGill Alumni directory using their McGill credentials. 

The MAA, in partnership with a virtual networking platform called Ten Thousand Coffees (10KC), designed McGill Connect—an exclusive networking platform that allows McGill alumni, current students, and faculty to link with one another. The platform even allows recruiters to search for new hires within the McGill graduate pool. 

McGill Connect works through a three-pronged system. First, members complete a quick matching quiz to determine the personalized connection suggestions they will receive. Then, they can search the platform based on a number of factors, including location, expertise, and industry. Finally, alumni can connect with their matches through discussion boards, messages, and calls. 

What other services and opportunities does the McGill Alumni Association offer?

Along with McGill Connect, the MAA boasts a range of activities, initiatives, and benefits for its members. Events range from a Roller Skate Party in Switzerland, Winter Pancakes and Maple Syrup Brunch in Paris, to a Student-Alumni Networking Cocktail in Montreal. Events are either free or charge an attendance fee.

The MAA also publishes the McGill News Alumni Magazine, which highlights the achievements of McGill’s graduates and reports on the latest developments at McGill. 

Members of the MAA enjoy benefits such as discounts on insurance rates and credit card services. When members sign up for these perks, McGill’s affinity partners return a percentage of the premiums collected to McGill. Members can also peruse discounted accommodations across the world and pay reduced rates at McGill facilities. 

Along with collecting private donations for the university, the MAA also runs McGill Crowdfunding, a fundraising platform for individuals in the McGill community to raise money in support of educational initiatives and research.

What is the Scarlet Key Society?

The Scarlet Key Society strives to bring together students who have shown outstanding leadership and generosity in the McGill community and provides a space for them to continue their service. According to the group’s Constitution, the Society holds a few events a year and also supports a number of charitable causes.

The Society consists of members of the original Scarlet Key and Red Wing Societies, honourary members appointed by the Scarlet Key executive, and recipients of the Scarlet Key award. This exclusive award is granted to student leaders who show extraordinary leadership and ambition, and go above and beyond in their communities.

Candidates for the award can be self-nominated or nominated by others in the McGill community. All nominations must be done through an online application. Candidates must have completed at least two full-time semesters and be in satisfactory standing or be a McGill alumnus, but grades are not considered beyond this requirement. Candidates must also have taken on a significant project that has had a positive impact. 

The 2022-2023 “pinning” ceremony for chosen Scarlet Key award recipients will take place on March 23.

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